Week 14 only served to make the NFL a more complicated place, particularly in the NFC.
- The Eagles were victors, but they lost MVP candidate, Carson Wentz to a season-ending ACL injury.
- The Vikings were beaten by the Panthers.
- The Saints were beaten by the Falcons.
- The Lions, Cowboys and Packers all came up with season-saving victories.
Though Philadelphia is locked into the postseason as the NFC East champ, there are nine teams left fighting for five spots in the postseason, and there are just three games separating them all.
Toss in the fact that the Patriots and Steelers are set to fight for the No. 1 seed in the AFC and the Chargers and Chiefs are dueling for the AFC West title, and Week 15 has a little bit of everything going on all across the country.
5: The number of home games in a row the Seahawks have been double-digit favorites over the Rams. There is no doubt that Seattle has been the alpha team in the NFC West for quite some time now, and its dominance of the Rams can’t be understated. Still, with K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman all out of the lineup for this one, just how much like the Seahawks will the Seahawks look on Sunday? The Rams have one of the best offenses in the NFL, and this game means the world to them. A victory, and they’ll almost certainly win the NFC West, and they could still be in the running for a first-round bye in the playoffs. This is just the third time Los Angeles has been favored in Seattle since betting lines became widely available in 1985.
7: The number of games in a row the Chiefs have won over the Chargers in their rivalry. You’d think with that information, the fact that Kansas City handily took care of business at the StubHub Center in Week 3 and the fact that the Chiefs are at Arrowhead Stadium in what could end up being a must-win game would leave them as heavy favorites in this game. These two clubs are heading in different directions, though. Los Angeles has won four straight to storm back into the AFC West discussion while Kansas City has dropped six of its last eight after starting at 5-0.
15: The number representing the highest point spread of Week 15. The Saints aren’t quite the biggest favorites of the season yet, but there’s a chance they get to that point by the time this one goes off the board against the Jets. New York was still on the fringes of the AFC playoff chase until last week when it put up just 100 total yards of offense in a shutout loss in Denver. Now, Josh McCown’s season is over with, and that leaves Bryce Petty to quarterback the team. If you thought the Jets were embarrassing offensively before, check them out in the Superdome. This is just what the doctor ordered to get the Saints back on track after losing last Thursday to Atlanta.
54: The number of points in the over/under of the Patriots/Steelers game, the highest total amongst the Week 15 betting odds. We shouldn’t be surprised by this, especially after Pittsburgh just played in the highest-scoring game in the history of its rivalry with the Ravens in Week 14. New England’s defense has been much better in the last two months than it was in the first month of the campaign, and its offense still feels like it has been a step behind at times this year. Still, the Pats have scored four straight wins over Pittsburgh and have averaged over 36 points per game in those four affairs. The likelihood of the Steelers slowing down the Brady Bunch feels small.
Opening Week 15 NFL Odds
Broncos at Colts (+1.5, 41.5)
Bears at Lions (-7, 44)
Chargers at Chiefs (-1, 46)
Eagles at Giants (+8, 40)
Packers at Panthers (-2, 44.5)
Bengals at Vikings (-10, 41)
Dolphins at Bills (OFF)
Texans at Jaguars (-13, 40)
Jets at Saints (-15, 47)
Cardinals at Redskins (-6, 44)
Ravens at Browns (+9, 40)
Rams at Seahawks (+1.5, 48)
Patriots at Steelers (+2.5, 54)
Titans at 49ers (-1, 44.5)
Cowboys at Raiders (PK, 45)
Falcons at Buccaneers (+5, 47.5)
(Odds Courtesy of BookMaker.eu)